Gender responsive budgeting for children
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GENDER RESPONSIVE BUDGETING FOR CHILDREN. Yehualashet Mekonen Senior Programme Manager The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) Fourth International Policy Conference on the African Child 7-8 December 2010, UN Conference Center Addis Ababa.

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Gender responsive budgeting for children


Yehualashet Mekonen

Senior Programme Manager

The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF)

Fourth International Policy Conference on the African Child

7-8 December 2010, UN Conference Center

Addis Ababa

Based on the paper budgeting for children in africa adding a gender lens to the analysis

Based on the paper“BUDGETING FOR CHILDREN IN AFRICA:Adding a gender lens to the analysis”

Authored by:

Esther Wiegers


Yehualashet Mekonen

With financial and technical support from

Plan International

I wish i were a boy

I wish I were a boy….

A 12 years old girl from DRC, Children and Youth Polls


  • Taking Stock: Gender-based discriminations, needs and gaps

  • Instruments to ensure gender equality

  • Gender sensitive budgeting for children

  • Main findings

  • Recommendations

Taking stock gender discriminations needs and gaps
Taking Stock: Gender discriminations,needs and gaps

  • Gender is one of the markers of inequality

  • Gender inequality is a global challenge: developed, transitional economies, developing countries

  • Gender discriminations takes place everywhere:

    • At home, in the community

    • In schools, health service facilities

    • in the streets, at work place, etc.

  • It happens to women and girls of all ages

    • Adults and the elderly

    • The youth

    • Infants and children

Taking stock gender discriminations needs and gaps1

Discrimination and inequality


Taking Stock: Gender discriminations, needs and gaps …

Discriminations across children’s life cycle

Late childhood

(6-10 years)

Discriminations in sharing household responsibilities, access to education, opportunity for play and socialisation



Discriminations in healthcare, feeding, neglect in care and access to pre-school

Female foeticide


Taking stock gender discriminations needs and gaps2
Taking Stock: Gender discriminations, needs and gaps …

  • Teenage pregnancy and related complications,

  • higher risk for STI including HIV,

  • Limited chance for higher education

  • Missed out from programmes targeting children

  • Limited access to resources and vulnerability to poverty



Discrimination and inequality



Greater vulnerability to:

  • Trafficking

  • Violence

  • Early marriage

  • School dropout


Taking stock gender discriminations needs and gaps3
Taking Stock: Gender discriminations, needs and gaps …

  • Variation in risks of vulnerability by gender and the need for different interventions to address them

  • Higher vulnerability and risks, particularly for girls to:

    • Labour exploitation

    • Dropout from school

    • Experience sexual violence

    • Higher health risks including HIV

    • Little access to resources and poverty

  • The need for targeted interventions to:

    • Eliminate traditional practices (early marriage, FGM)

    • Enhance protection against human trafficking, violence and labour exploitation

    • Reduce school dropout

Instruments to ensure gender equality
Instruments to ensure gender equality

  • Almost all human rights instruments (including the CRC and ACRWC) recognise gender inequality.

  • Specific human rights instruments (such as CEDAW, AU’s Women’s Rights Protocol) deal with gender issues and provide:

    • Equal rights to access public services

    • Equal participation in social, economic and political affairs

    • Introduction of special measures to redress gender inequality

  • Many governments have also promulgated policies, prepared PoA and established structures to ensure gender equality.

  • Encouraging achievements have been made.

  • Instruments to ensure gender equality1
    Instruments to ensure gender equality . . .

    • But still, wide gap between policy and practice.

    • The constraints include:

      • Deeply ingrained social and cultural attitudes against women and girls

      • Lack of coordination and adequate resources to implement policies

      • Inability to effectively mainstream gender in development planning and implementation

    At the Beijing Conference in 1995:

    • Budget was recognised as a crucial tool to promote and achieve gender equality goals.

    • Underscored the need for a systematic review and adjustment of budgets to ensure gender equity

    • Gave impetus to gender budget initiatives

    Gender sensitive budgeting for children
    Gender sensitive budgeting for children

    • Gender sensitive budgeting for children:

      • Builds on the concept of Budgets for Children elaborated in ARCW 2011

      • Adds a gender perspective to the whole process.

    The concept of gender sensitive budgeting for children:

    • Refers to budget inputs, processes and outcomes that are sensitive to gender-based needs and gaps.

    • Progressively aims at eliminating gender inequality at all stages of children’s life.

    • Involves girls and women activists in budget decisions

    • Allocates adequate funds to programmes targeting gender inequality

    • Ensures efficient utilisation of resources and enhances effectiveness in achieving gender equality goals

    Gender sensitive budgeting for children1

    The whole process provides feedback for improvement

    Gender sensitive budgeting for children…

    • Involvement of girls, gender activists and other relevant bodies in budget deliberations

    • Approval of adequate funds for the fulfilment of gender equality

    The conceptual framework

    • Inventory of gender needs and gaps among children

    • Review of other related legal and policy commitments

    • Establishing links with other development goals to enhance synergy and impact

    • Propositions of interventions to address gender needs/gaps

    • Allocation of sufficient funds







    monitoring and




    • Systems and mechanisms to enhance efficient utilisation of resources

    • Gender issues considered duringmonitoring

    • Compilation of relevant gender related data

    • M&E assessment to gauge the gender impact

    • Mechanisms put in place to avoid resource leakage and corruption

    Gender sensitive budgeting for children2
    Gender sensitive budgeting for children…

    Parameters for analysis:

    • Availability

    • Adequacy

    • Priority

    • Progress over time

    • Efficiency and effectiveness

  • These parameters are tailored for a rights-based approach of budget analysis

  • They are used to assess budgets targeting children in light of gender outcomes

  • The four budget categories benefiting children are:

    • Primary and secondary education budgets

    • Budgets for healthcare

    • Budgets for child development and family support

    • Social and child protection programmes

  • Main findings
    Main findings

    Budget for education and gender disparity in access to primary education

    Higher budget, lower disparity

    Low budget and higher disparity

    • Education budget has a positive correlation with Gender Parity Indices in enrolment

    Main findings1
    Main findings

    • Countries which spent relatively higher on education had lower gender disparity in primary completion rate

    Main findings2
    Main findings

    • Share of budget for secondary education has positive correlation with girls enrolment in secondary education

    Larger share and lower disparity

    Smaller share and higher disparity

    Main findings3
    Main findings

    Budget for health and health outcomes by gender

    • Countries which have the highest child mortality rate are those with relatively lower expenditure on the health sector

    Budgets for child development and protection

    • These are the areas where there is very limited data both in terms of budget inputs and outcomes.

      Available data shows that:

    • Early childhood development is almost a neglected area in most of Africa

    • Child protection is the other area were more effort needs to be made

    • With only 3% of GDP, Africa invests the smallest in social protection

    • Existing social protection schemes focus on retirement, benefiting mostly men in formal employment.


    • Put in place appropriate budgetary policies, systems and mechanisms to ensure that gender is taken into account at all stages of the budget cycle;

    • Undertake intensive gender sensitisation campaigns to change negative attitudes towards gender roles and responsibilities;

    • Increase the share of education budget that goes to secondary education to improve girls’ access to secondary education;

    • Develop and expand early childhood care and education programmes that equally benefit boys and girls;

    • Enhance efficiency in utilisation of budgets to ensure achievement of gender equality goals.

    • Implement integrated age and sex disaggregated data collection and analysis in all sectors.



    Gender sensitive budgeting for children is like a mosaic design where budget practitioners and policy makers use:

    • Good budget practices,

    • The maximum of their available resources,

    • A comprehensive list of gender-based needs and gaps

    …and create a picture of equally respected, provided for and protected boys and girls

    …. and create an environment where children do not wish to be of the opposite sex, but are proud to be who they are.